Skip to main content

Full text of "Wordeater"

See other formats

- -. Woideatet#69 

f Joliet Junior College 1989 

In order to get a selection published in this issue, four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the award 
winners, only John Stobart is responsible. 

All copyrights are retained by the authors, and materials may not be reprinted without their permission. 

Sherry Gundexman 
Nels Nelson 
Maria Mellinger 
J. Ardith Cox 
Nels Nelson 

Shonda Talerico 
Blake Axelson 
Sherry Gunderman 
Rich Goberville 
Nels Nelson 
Kim Vollmer 
Kim Vollmer 
Kim Vollmer 
Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 
Kim Vollmer 
Kim Vollmer 
Julie Futterer 
Jerald Janes 

Maria Mellinger 
Shonda Talerico 
Nels Nelson 
Maria Mellinger 
J. Ardith Cox 
J. Ardith Cox 
Jerald Janes 
Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 
Kim Vollmer 
J. Ardith Cox 
Sherry Gunderman 
Dawn Simmons 
Nels Nelson 
Dawn Simmons 
Nels Nelson 
Nels Nelson 
Rich Goberville 


11:52 A.M. 


In A Matter of Hours 

Times of Change 

What Is Real on December 

30, 1988 1 
The Reality of Existence 2 
The Ultimate Imagineer 2 

Optimism S 

Innocence 5 

Metamorphorsis 6 

Big Boy Now 6 

When 6 

If 6 

I Know 6 

What It Is 7 

What Came First 7 

Secrets 7 

Connections 7 
A Matter of Interpretation 7 

Speak Now 8 

Answer Me 8 

In Response 8 

I Thought I Knew 8 

Terror 8 
Groucho, Harpo, Chico, 

Zeppo, and Karl 8 

Misunderstanding 9 

Rule #1 9 

Dancers 9 

Dance Delirium 10 

Can't Follow 10 

Carnival 10 

Absentees 10 

Truce 11 

Dream #3 11 

Telephone 1 1 

Sleepaway 11 

Dead 11 

Death 11 

Dying 12 

"Don't Let Go" 12 

The Empty Chair 12 

Partn 12 

Damn 12 

Abysmality 13 

I'm Sorry 13 
Birthday Party at Jerry's 13 

Eternity 13 

Maria Mellinger 
Maria Mellinger 
Kim Vollmer 
Nels Nelson 
Clariece Henne 
Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 
Shonda Talerico 
Kim Vollmer 
Dawn Simmons 
Kim Vollmer 
Nels Nelson 
Walter Coffey 

Dawn Simmons 
Dawn Simmons 
Shonda Talerico 
Norma Dodge 
Clariece Henne 
Joseph Nahas 
Julie Futterer 



J. Ardith Cox 



Norma Dodge 


Norma Dodge 
Jerald Janes 

Rich Goberville 
Anna Danbury 
Rich Goberville 
Norma Dodge 
Kristy Cahall 
Kim Vollmer 

Kim Vollmer 
Maria Mellinger 
Nels Nelson 
Nels Nelson 

Princess of Sorrow 1 3 
So Many Familiar Faces 13 

Hair of the Dog 14 

Suburban Shaman 14 
Photographic Memories 14 

Traitor Conscience 1 5 

A Still Small Voice IS 

Inside IS 

On the Inside IS 

Melancholy IS 

MendtheBreak 16 

Modem Slaughter 16 
Mrs. Emma Holland's 

Nuclear Popsicle 16 

Mike's Regret 18 

Web Says 18 

Gramma 18 

Ambidextrous 19 

Summer Rain 19 

TheGrindle 19 

Zambuka 19 
Why Didn't I Take the 

Stairs! 20 

Street Comers 20 

Designs 20 

Your Eyes 20 

The Eyes Have It 21 

Intrigue 21 

Forbidden Fruit 21 
I Do Not Sleep Alone 

at Night 22 

Encounter 22 
The Real, Genuine 

Imitation 22 

Parasitic 23 

Little Gold Box 24 

Mother 24 

Sisters 25 

Special Child 25 
And In the Morning 

You Were Dead 26 

Dim and Dark 26 

TheWhispers 26 

In My Room 26 
Kiss, Kiss and 

Goodnight 26 

Sherry Gunderman 

11:52 A.M. 

Brown eyes 

Brown hair 

Khaki coat 

Red scarf 

Darted through the crowd. 

The future 

was lost 

in that brief moment 

in die narrow hallway. 


Nels Nelson 

This is not a poem about non-stick cooking pots. 
This is not a poem about canvas luggage, 
Nor is it about a French maiden's underthings 
(Although it very easily could be). 
This poem's name could be translated as Randall, 
And it sometimes wears a dashiki on Thursdays. 
It doesn't shop at department stores, 
And is trying to quit smoking. 
This poem doesn't have any fond childhood memo- 
And is most definitely not about rainbow-colored 

This poem refuses to acknowled any poemness it 

might exude. 
The one thing this poem does proudly represent, 
Preaching its wisdom on every soap box, 
Yet refusing vehemently to represent said soap box, 
Is the internationally revered hobby-horse. 


Maria Mellinger 

In a matter of hours 
Last night's freedom escaped. 
It crept out the window 
When we weren't looking. 
Left the comforter in a crumble, 
And awoke the alarm clock, 
Which screamed its shocked reply. 
Out of fear we 
Embraced routine 
Instead of each other. 


J. Ardith Cox 

Struggling in the bonds of life, 

Wishing to be free. 
Young hearts battling with their minds, 

Fighting desperately. 

Wandering through this world of hurt, 

Showing little fear. 
LOVING, losing, all they know, 

Holding back each tear. 

Facing problems every day, 

Boldly taking stands. 
Never giving in for less, 

Keeping their demands. 

Looking for the perfect love, 

A search that has no end. 
Hoping to repair the breaks, 

In hearts that cannot mend. 

Caught between the young and old, 

Living in their prime. 
Wounds received along Life's path, 

Are healed by only Time. 


Nels Nelson 


A new car? 

No, that's not it 


Could tomorrow be real? 


Not even a hot bath is real 


Nor abed. 

Fm broke in San Francisco 

In a rain that reminds me of a 

Head full of mucous, 

And I just want 

A pair of god damned socks, 

Reality is a dream of warm feet 

Twenty-five hundred miles from home. 


Shonda Talerico 

Touching his finger to my chin, he gently 
lifts it, so my eyes meet his. Inside them there is the 
same look, seen once so long ago, but far from for- 
gotten. His eyes bore into mine. 

"I remember," he says. "I remember this 
feeling that I shared with you so long ago. I was 
such a fool, I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I 
just didn't know what I was feeling until now. 
Shon, I still love you." 

I clasp his hands and press them to my 
breast My heart is pounding wildly, it feels as if it 
will leap out of my chest or cease beating altogeth- 

"I have waited for you to say those words 
to me again," I utter breathlessly. 

He smiled and gently stroked my hair. My 
joyous tears stain my face. These tears don't travel 
over unfamiliar territory, but they are fresh and new. 
Emotions nearly forgotten in two years wash 
through me. 

His kisses are soft and sweet They rain 
upon my skin like a fresh shower, a shower that 
washes away all of my negative feelings. His pas- 
sion rekindles sensations that I hadn't experienced 
in years. At once, I was fifteen again, with my 
stomach in knots. 

My nerves tingle with excitement. The 
moistness is cleansing me, washing away two long 
years of loneliness. I am ready to try again. 

He draws me into his arms, and I can smell 
him. I want to become his smell, his skin, his 
whole being. I want him. I want to become him. 

My lips and tongue run down his neck. He 
tastes a bit salty, he always did. He tastes like love. 
Love is oozing out of every pore. He is vulnerable 
as he opens himself to me. 

I am ready to receive him. I can feel the 
love that he is bestowing on me. It's warmer than 
the sunlight that streams through the gauzy curtains 
and spills over our young bodies on the bed. 

Our clothing falls away like softness. He 
undresses me so tenderly, as if he is performing a 
ritual of love. 

I am pure. I am whole. We are one. 

We are joined by our existence through our 
souls. My body aches with emotions that are 
stronger than hatred or any evil, for my feelings are 
of pure love. 

He is stroking my legs, but they aren't a 
part of me. I'm floating in space. I'm a billion 
atoms mixing in his atoms. He has entered my 
space, and I have entered his. 


I can feel him throbbing harder and hotter 
than anything. Nothing matters but this reality. 
Nothingis more real than our actual existence. We 
appear as one. 

We are trekking up the mountain, our own 
mountain of love, joy and ecstasy. I am so ab- 
sorbed in him that I cannot find myself, and he can- 
not find himself. There are no separate entities, but 
one existence. 

We explode. Suddenly, I am losing my bal- 
ance. I am hurtling through space, which only con- 
tains myself. He is gone. I cannot breathe, I don't 
want to see... 

My cheek is damp. I guess that my tears 
awakened me. My eyes grope in the darkness. The 
sharp realization hits me: we are not one. 

I close my eyes and curl myself into a ball 
under his heavy, unyielding arm. I match my 
breathing to his rhythm. I can feel his heart beating 
against me, but it's not mine. He doesn't love me. 
But I'll wait for the day when he'll love me again. 


Blake Axelson 

"Disneyworld! I don't want to go there, 
that place if for little kids!" I screamed at my mother. 

"But Joe," she said. "It's a family vacation 
area, there'll be lots to do in Florida." 

"Sure, Florida, the state where senior citi- 
zens go to die. There's nothing for me there, much 
less at Disneyworld, which is for people who are 

"I heard that!" my sister screamed from her 
room and marched into the kitchen. "I'm a full- 
grown woman, I'm almost ten years old!" 

"If you think that's old, you must thing I'm 
a grandfather," I said. 

"Oh, be quiet!" she said. "You don't know 
about women anyway." Then Lori stormed back to 
her room. 

"Mom?" I asked. "Why can't we go some- 
place exciting like Las Vegas or Hawaii?" 

"Because we're going to Florida, case 
closed." So that was it I was stuck with it. There 
was no use trying to fight it any longer. 

"Besides," my mother said, "you never 
know, you may meet some girl down there who's 
just as bummed out about being there as you are, 
then you two could go around together." I hadn't 
thought of that It would be nice if I could get out 
of hanging with my parents. 

"So, Mom, when do we leave?" I asked. 

"Thursday, when school is out, seems like 


The Ultimate Imagineer, continued 

you changed your attitude pretty quick." 

"Yeah, well, I figure I may be able to toler- 
ate it a bit more if it works out okay." Of course, 
my mom knew why I became interested so fast, as 
mothers always know the reasons behind their chil- 
dren's actions. 

So off we went, winging down to the land 
of oranges and alligators. Not knowing what to ex- 
pect, I sat and wondered if this vacation could actu- 
ally be worth something, or if it would be of memo- 
rable value. 

Arriving sooner than I had hoped, we 
picked up our bags, and headed for Disneyworld. 
As the sun beat down on our run-down rented car, I 
soon fell asleep and didn't wake up until we were at 
the hotel. 

All the next day, we went around the theme 
park. We hit the haunted house, the submarine ride, 
and Epcot Center. By this time, Lori was ecstatic. 
She jumped about screaming, "Does someone here 
have a camera? We might be able to see Mickey 

"Yeah," I said drolly. "I don't know if I can 
keep my composure up if that happens." 

"You are so immature!" she said. 

"At least I'm not stupid like you!" I re- 
turned. Lori shook her head. Back at the park, we 
covered every ride, attraction, and restaurant we 
missed before, until finally we arrived at the cream 
of the crop, the ultimate thrill ride, the ride that put 
Disneyworld on the map, the one, the only, (except 
in California), "Space Mountain"! 

"Let's go on the space ride!" I yelled with 
surprising enthusiasm. 

"Are you nuts?" asked my dad. "People 
have died from heart attacks on that thing!" 

'Those are just old people, Dad, besides, 
they would have dropped dead at the fall of a pin." 

"You can go by yourself, Joe. We'll sit this . 
one out," said my mother. I didn't even ask Lori, 
her face had turned white looking at the pavilion that 
housed the coaster. So, off I went to attempt to get 
some excitement out of this vacation. 

After what seemed like an eternity of 
strolling through steel guard rails, I finally arrived 
within seeing distance of the boarding area. In front 
of me was a girl who I hadn't noticed until now. 
She wore a red sweater and stone washed jeans, and 
had long black hair. 

"You been on this ride before?" I asked. 
No answer. "You like this ride?" I tried again. 

"Huh? Oh yeah, it's my favorite," she an- 
swered slowly. 

"I could really use a partner. Do you want 

to sit with me?" 

"Sure, we're up next," she said. And we 
were. I could hardly believe it, the time passed so 
quick while I talked to her. The ride was pretty ex- 
cellent, a little primitive compared to what's out 
today, but the dark made it more exciting. 

When it was over, I heard her get up and 
walk out of the tram. "I didn't get your name. 
Wha~" but she was gone. I went to an attendant 
operating the ride and asked, "Did you see a girl in a 
red sweater and stone washed jeans go by?" 

He looked me hard and said, "You trying to 
be smart, boy!" 

Surprised, I answered, "No, wh-why do 
you ask?" 

"You know why! We don't need jerks like 

"But I only asked if you've seen her." 

"If you don't stop it, Son, I'll call Security 
and have you removed." 

"All right, all right, I'll leave." I wondered 
what happened to the Disney reputation of being po- 
lite to guests. Outside, I met my parents. 

"So how was it?" asked my dad. 

"Pretty good. I even met a giri in there." 

"You don't say!" My mom interjected. 
"What's her name?" 

"She left before I could~hey, there she is!" 
She was walking back into the ride. "She obviously 
loves Space Mountain," I told them. 

"Hmmm...," Dad mumbled. "Maybe you'll 
run into her again." 

"Yeah, maybe." I thought rather blank 
things for a while, and in bed later that night, I de- 
cided I would return to Space Mountain the next 
morning and try to locate "Madame X." 

"Rise and shine!" My dad's voice boomed 
across the room. "What are we going to do today?" 

"I wanna go to Epcot!" Lori yelled. 

"I could use some clothes," Mom added. 

"I'd like to ride Space Mountain again, 
maybe three or four times," I answered. 

"Bull-loney! He just wants to meet his girl- 
friend!" Lori said defiantly. 

"Girlfriend my ass, I only met her yester- 

"Joe! Watch your language in from of your 
sister!" Mom yelled. 

"Enough of this! said Dad. "We all have 
our places to go, so let's do it Come on, Lori, I'll 
take you to Epcot" So we all took off on our own, 
as if on individual quests in search of buried trea- 

I arrived at Space Mountain in the late 
morning. I looked all around for the red sweater or 
dark hair, but found nothing, the attendant from the 


The Ultimate Imagineer, continued 

day before stared at me coldly as I moved through 
the line, as if I was under suspicion for something. 

On the way out after I finished the ride I 
saw her approaching the entrance. 

"Hey, how's it going?" I said. 

"Oh, fine, how are you?" she answered as 
slow as always. 

"Are you with your parents, or are you here 
alone?" I asked. 

"No, I'm" It was a strange an- 
swer, yet this was a strange girl. 

I'm here on Spring Break, though I'd rather 
be in Hawaii," I said. She laughed and started to 

"Would you like to go on with me again?" 

"I'd love to, but I have to get back. I'm 
meeting my family for lunch. Maybe later tonight I 
could meet you someplace," I said 

"Why not right here?" she answered. 

"Is this tihe only place you visit when you're 
here?" I asked humorously. 

"Practically, yes." 

"Great! I'll come around nine." 

"Sounds fine." Then she walked inside. I 
then smacked my head. Why didn't I ask her name. 
Would I always have to refer to her as "she," "girl," 
"woman in stone washed pants"? Well, it didn't 
matter. I'd try to remember to ask her tonight. 
Never in my sixteen years of life did I ever think 
this vacation would turn interesting, but it did. 

"So, Joe, how was your day?" Dad asked. 

"Pretty good. I saw what's-her-face," I 

"You don't know her name yet!" 

"No,, forgot to ask her." 

"Again? You'd think she'd have introduced 
herself by now." 

"Well," I said, "I'm meeting her later 
tonight Maybe I'll find out then." 

"I hope so," said Dad. "She must go by 
some kind of name." All through lunch my mind 
was on the Queen of the Coaster, but then what else 
was new. Later that night, I went to meet her at the 
park. Arriving at nine on the dot, I sat and waited 
on a bench just outside the ride. 

Hours came and hours went, but there was 
no sign of her. I began to grow impatient as I start- 
ed to drift off. "Meet in front of the 
Mountain.. .nine o'clock...why'd she have to stand 
me up.. .stupid bitch!" 

"Hey, Buddy, let's move it! Get back to 
you hotel." I awoke to find a security guard looking 
down at me. 

"What time is it?" I yawned. 

"One a.m. The park's closing," answered 
the guard. 

"Is everybody gone?" 

"Yeah, they don't let people hang around 
after closing time, not after that accident last year." 

"Accident? What accident?" I asked. 

"Oh, a few kids who drank too much 
thought it would be fun to put a trashed girl on her 
favorite ride, and see how she liked waking up in a 
roller coaster, Space Mountain to be exact" 

"So what happened?" I asked with curiosi- 

"The giri...was asleep, she wasn't aware of 
what was going on, and...well, it was just an awful 

I pieced together what was told, and hoped 
it wasn't what it sounded like. 

"What did the girl look like?" I asked. 

"Hmmm, maybe, I believe she, well I know 
she had stone washed pants, because that's the first 
thing I saw when we founcL.let's stop right there 
and have you go back, it's late enough already." He 
was obviously becoming unnerved. 

"Just one more thing. What was her 
name?" I asked with some hesitation. 

"It was Wendy, Wendy Dreslin," answered 
the guard. 

"Did they get her out?" 

"The body? Well, of course! If you want 
to get gory about it there's probably some of her 
left, but nobody's perfect in this kind of...recovery 
of a victim. 

With this in mind, I decided what I had to 
do. We had one more day at Disneyworld, and after 
I filled my requirements for family interaction, I 
would go to find Wendy and let her know I knew 
about her. 

Arriving at the hotel, my parents asked how 
the night went, and where the hell I had been. 
'Time just flew. It was great I'll say goodbye to 
her tomorrow." I lied through my teeth, and jumped 
into bed before they could ask anything more. Early 
next morning, I rose up quickly, had breakfast con- 
tributed my two-cents' worth of family sharing, 
then headed to Tomorrowland, home of Space 

I searched through hordes of people going 
in and going out Only after I was ready to give up 
did I see her. "Wendy!" I called as she turned with 
a look of incredible surprise. She approached me 
still wearing the shocked expression, which began 
to scare me now. 

"How... did you find out?" she asked. 

"I... I. ..asked a guard when you didn't 
show up last night by the way, where were you?" 

She looked down, sighed, and said, 


The Ultimate Imagineer, continued 


"I.. .didn't want to hurt your feelings, but I'm stuck 
here. I'll always be here. I'm a part of the network 
of Space Mountain." 

"I don't understand." And I really didn't. 

"I died here, tragically, and I can never 
leave because parts of my mortal self still exist I 
didn't show up last night because I may have 
grown closer to you, and that would mean I would 
have to, ultimately, cause you pain in leaving me. 
You have been the only person I've appeared to, 
somehow, I just knew you'd understand me." 

"I do feel sorry for you, and I wish we 
could have been friends." 

"We will be," she said. "We will be." She 
then handed me a piece of folded paper and said, 
"Look at this when you get home. Whenever you 
see it, you'll remember me." Then she was gone. 

I came back in a daze and left with my fami- 
ly for the airport. Flying over the country, there 
was a sensation of peace all around. I only wish 
Wendy could share some of it with me, but of 
course, this wasn't to be. 

Arriving home later that night, we were all 
very tired, and when I put my jeans aside, I remem- 
bered the paper. I pulled it out, and on it were 
Wendy's initials. At first I didn't know the signifi- 
cance, but then I saw the ambiguity and laid down 

to cry myself to sleep. 


Sherry Gunderman 


The music 

from two separate generations 


in unison. 

And there was the night 

and the stars shone 

and the wind whispered 


that would never come true. 

And the youngsters 


starry smiles of optimism 

and the elders gave them 

looks of worried empathy 

in the sunbeams 

of their infinite knowledge. 

And we shook our heads 

in disbelief 

and opened the window to reality 

and enjoyed the present 




I peered into the casket, not really knowing 
what to expect And there she was, my grandmoth- 
er. She looked beautiful as she does on Christmas 
morning with her hair all done up and her makeup 
put on so well. I looked at her eyes that seemed to 
be sealed shut Then I looked down at her mouth. 
She seemed to have a little grin that looked sort of 
funny. The more I looked, the funnier her mouth 
seemed, until suddenly I burst out laughing. I just 
couldn't help myself. I've never seen her so still. 
Usually, when she's sleeping, I can see her eyes 
flicker, or her mouth move just a little. But this 
time, nothing at all. I almost felt like tickling her 
toes until she woke up laughing too. (That's what I 
always did when she fell asleep on the couch at 
home.) The thought of tickling her made me laugh 
even more. I tried to stifle my laugh because, for 
some reason, I could sense that this wasn't the place 
to be laughing. But still, the laughter came out. I 
looked down at Grandma again, waiting for her to 
wake, due to my loudness, but she continued to lay 

I turned away, figuring that I'd better not 
wake her anyway. Then I saw a strange sight. My 
mom and my grandpa were in tears. They were 
hugging each other and giving each other comfort. I 
wondered what bothered them so much. Then I 
heard my grandpa say to my mom, "She died know- 
ing she lived a good Hfe." 

What did he mean, "died"? Isn't that like 
on 'Tom & Jerry" where, if they get run over by a 
car, they can just blow themselves up again? 
Grandma can get better. What's the big deal on 
"death"? Suddenly, from the painful look on my 
mom's face, I could tell that death was something 
more man I ever imagined. I began to wonder if I 
would ever hear my grandmother's laughter again. 
I wondered if I would ever visit her house and have 
her make my favorite cookies and have her push me 
on her tire swing as I ate them. I wondered if she 
would ever teach me more games that she used to 
play when she was my age. 

I turned to the casket and slowly shuffled 
towards it somehow knowing that I wouldn't see 
the same image I saw the first time. That short walk 
to the casket seemed to take forever and when I fi- 
nally reached it I wasn't sure if I wanted to look in- 
side. With my last bit of courage I had left, I looked 
inside, and this time, I did see something different 
This time my tears echoed in silence instead of my 
laughter. This time, my nine-year-old innocence of 
death was gone-forever. 


Jacque Klika 


silently spins cocoon. 
A new life begins. 

Majestic beauty 

emerges with folded wings. 

Silent grace takes flight. 

Canterbury Bells 
stand nobly in the sun. 
Butterflies alight 


Nels Nelson 


A small boy summer, middle west 

Small town light-late summer. 

What's the world, Momma? 

I'm not taking a bath. Can I 

Have some ice cream? I don't 

Want to pull weeds I hat weeds 

They're green. Why can't we just leave them, 

Momma? Momma, I got stung! 

Don't use the needle to get it, it hurts 

Too much, Momma. How long is summer, 

Momma? Why was I never bored when I 

Was a boy, Momma? Can I still 

Be anything I want? Can I be a small boy 

Again, wearing the same clothes for days 

And not bathing, not caring, and riding 

My bike so hard like someone would take it if 

I got off, and thinking ice cream is a big deal, 

And smiling, 



Kim Vollmer 


When we are together 
there is, I am, 
this light. 
Shining all around 
blocking my view of all 
the hates and fears 
I've ever known. 
When we are together. 


Jacque Klika 


If only I had paused 
and thought of what we had... 
I might have pictured hands 
and how they'd one day paint. 
Then I'd have pictured tiny feet 
that tread upon the sand... 
and tiny toes, that kick and splash 
in foaming bubble bath. 

If only I'd have taken time 

to think of your young life... 

and all the things that you would do 

if I had brought you life. 

I was afraid of what they'd say 

and what was I to do...? 

I didn't know I'd love you 

even now when you are gone. 

When you grew beneath my heart 

I didn't stop to think... 

that you were mine and I was yours 

and of my future grief. 

But now I must release you, 

now that you are gone... 

for it's God who now will rock you 

and hold you in his palm. 


Kim Vollmer 


Who you were to me 

I can no analyze, 

But not on paper. 

For you've gone and 

I fear I'll miss you if 

I write it out 

Or you'll come 

and I'll shred my love 

into little bits, 

and then neither one of us 

will know. 

Now, only I know 

Judy Belfield 


Combo slides sound 

against the face of 

drumskin softness, 

a powdery delicacy 

as fine as a sugar cloud; 

the piano creates 

sublime yearnings 

almost too rare to hear. 

A critic next day 

enjoins words in 

precarious combinations; 

an attempt to 

teach us 

how song should be constructed 

(as if it were a sundeck). 

Everyone knows music is, in fact, 

a carefully planned 


providing passage 


Kim Vollmer 


I've walked the eggshells at your feet 

It seems I've learned where not to step. 

I've felt your weakness. 

I need your strength. 

I did not pluck my feathers 

to remember my shame. 

I offered you my bouquet 

You took it 

And now that I know 

how to get around you, 

I could walk forever circling 

and never make a sound. 

And never know you at all. 

But I've decided to stay 

and help you clean up die place. 


Kim Vollmer 


My flower all wild 

with body that weeps, like a willow blown, 

under my hand. 

I tell only secrets, 

don't mistake them for lies. 


Judy Belfield 


In circles moving slowly 

like the rings of a thick stew stirred 

we travel- 

a macrocosmic magnification 

of nucleus, electrons, protons. 

From as small as we know 

to as large 

we commit similar patterns 

to a memory 

connected perhaps to 

a similar consciousness 

existing somewhere. 

Wonder, also, 

may be a shared activity: 

I think I am imagined I am thinking... 

for a short while. 

The buzzer on the clothes dryer 

assaults the moment 

like a telephone call 

in the middle of a winter's sleep. 


Kris Bullmer 

It's amazing how certain thoughts, feelings, 
and ideas can cloud one's perspective about things. 
Long ago, I had learned to hate reading most poetry 
because I was taught to believe that good poetry was 
always "deep and meaningful." I was also taught 
that poetry had hidden meaning which could only be 
understood after much study of the work. To me, 
"deep and meaningful" eventually came to mean 
vague and confusing. Hence, I couldn't trust my 
feelings about a poem because I was sure that my 
interpretation wasn't what the author meant 

It wasn't until recently that I discovered that 
poetry means whatever the reader takes it to mean. 
This has freed me to enjoy some poetry for the first 
time in my life. It is nice to know that there is nei- 
ther a right or a wrong interpretation when I don't 
understand the "great mystery" the poet is trying to 

In a real sense, this frees me to work at un- 
derstanding the poem even more, because whether I 
understand the poet's intent or not I am not bound 
by the fear of being wrong. And a poem is just a 
poem, after all! 



Maria Mellinger 


For never 

Hold your peace. 


Kim Vollmer 


Could you imagine 

a powdered handful 

tomorrow for the taking 

what I could be 

and become 

with white clouds in my mind 

to blur my thoughts 

of then 

to numb my ache 

of now 

to razor sharpen reality 

for a time 

might I, 

just for a moment, 

become who you want me to be 

who I want me to be 

is that the answer? 


Bob Loewe 


Know when you read me 
there is nothing artificial, 
no cereals, 
no fillers, 

just the meat of my soul. 
If you taste lies 
they're not in my telling 
it's due to your perception. 
Before calling me a fake 
open your eyes 
and see the man 
I truly am, 

not what you've been told 
or thought me to be. 
If you still taste baloney 
leave me on the shelf. 
It's not worth the price 

for either of us. 



Kim Vollmer 


I, floored at the feel of my creator, confess that 
I, stunned awake after a long sleepless dream, 

admit that 
I, with tattered shreds of us all around me, 

know nothing. 


Julie Futterer 


I gasp sharply. 
He almost turned around. 
His every motion makes me jump... 
If he turns around, he will 
surely see me standing 
here alone. 
I gasp again. 

He is moving closer but has 
not yet looked up. 
I am frozen stiff; 
I can hardly breathe. 
I am suffocated by his presence. 
One, two, three more steps 
and he will be beside me. 
I am caught in a trance; 
I cannot take my eyes off of him. 
What will I do? 
He reaches my side and my 
heart stops. 

He looks into my terrified, screaming eyes 
and smiles. 
"Hi!" he says. 
I respond with a shy smile 
and a quiet "hello." 
The moment is over. 
As he continues past, 
my muscles relax a bit 
and I slowly begin breathing. 
The next time I see him will be tomorrow. 
I can't wait 


Jerald Janes 


Fred was a bit eccentric. A bit too eccen- 
tric. Without question, he loved his children, but 
there was a definite absurdity to Fred's behavior. 


Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Karl, 


When the children were little, young Pablo 
snatched the last carrot from the fridge and made his way 
off to the dell to savor it Pablo knew that Papa loved 
his carrots. Pablo knew that it was the last carrot 

Fred had a fit when he went for his carrot. 
None of the children owned up to it Pablo did not own 
up to it 

Years passed. Fred often brought up the 
carrot in his fits of weird behavior. The children be- 
came adults and soon grew tired of Fred's infantile 
behavior. They soon all moved away. 

Fred had to find a way to discover the guilty 

He spent four years designing the damn 
thing, and when it was finally ready, he called his 
children and told them to come visit They did. 

Fred had built a crude time machine out of 
Radio Shack parts, he had the children assemble in 
the living room for the display. The entire family 
traveled back in time. They ended up in the wrong 
place, but they did travel back in time. 

"Dad, do you realize what you have done?" 
asked Ollie. 

"Shut up, I'm gonna find out who took that 
goddamn carrot!" replied Fred. 

"Papa," exclaimed Stuart, "you have no 
idea of the importance of this machine!" 

"Shut up, you! It's that fucking carrot or 
nothing!" snorted Fred, delirious from the bickering 
of a lifetime. 

"Dad, you're worth millions!" reminded 

"This ain't worth shit!" shouted Fred as the 
group traveled back and forth through time. 

Finally arriving close to the intended desti- 
nation, Fred finely adjusted the mechanisms until all 
was right He watched out the smoky window as 
his children bickered and babbled amongst them- 
selves of the new-found destiny of their father's 

"Look, goddammit, LOOK!!!" screamed 
Fred as Pablo opened up the fridge door and 
snatched the last carrot 

"You little bastard!" he bellowed at young 
Pablo through the glass, then turned to the adult 
Pablo and kicked him square in the testicles. All the 
other sons helped Pablo back to his feet 

"Papa!" cried Pablo, "you really don't un- 
derstand what this all means! DO YOU! ! ! !" 

Fred stared out into the abyss as he directed 

the ship back to the present, not saying a word 

....just smiling. 

Maria Mellinger 



We clench each other tightly 

In the hope it will evaporate 

Like the fine sweat on your lip 

After a fight 

If we lie still enough. 

Close enough, 

Forgetful enough, 

Maybe our differences 

Will melt 

And a new form will 

Emerge from icy anger. 

But if you turn away again, 

Misunderstanding's undertow 

Will drag me away 

And out of your grip forever. 



RULE #1 

don't be 

an individual 

just be 



Bob Loewe 


Twisting and whirling 

spinning on point 

racing over ground: 

I am awed by the dance 

of you and your friends 

Beautifully hazardous, 

You have yet 

to pass though a place 

and leave it standing. 

Dancing where you wish 

twilling across the country 

damaging, defying, and destroying 

your favorite things. 

Dance elsewhere. 

Don't cross my yard. 

You're not in Kansas anymore. 




Judy Belfield 


I sing a very loud song 
hear the notes bounce 
off the walls 
crash into my ears- 
makes me aware 
of me, 

a sound-producing thing. 
I begin to dance; 
a silly legs-and-arms 
salad mix of 
unplanned moves 
that takes me from 
one room to another. 
The cats follow 
to the bedroom, 
the kitchen, the dining room; 
they do not judge. 
I am alive 
like static, 

with an energy overload. 
I wonder what to do with it- 
spend all? 

If I had power lines, 
I might store some for later. 
I pass a mirror 
which shows me 
without imagination. 
The cats wait; 

they don't understand restraint; 
I love them for this. 
I laugh at my face 
laughing back at me 
then dance on 

through the rooms again. 


Nels Nelson 


Where did you go, brother, 

When you were thirteen and I, ten, 

I an oh yet too young but in a few years 


Did you do secret things, did you sneak a smoke? 

Today, you, a fifty year old twenty-four, 

Asking where I go at night, but no, 

You can't come. 

You wouldn't understand not being forgiven for passing 

A door. 

No, you mayn't come with me. 

No remote control here, no air-condi.tioning, And 

you not an oh yet too young. 


Maria Mellinger 

Talk. Filling up with it. Bubbling over 
with it like a full glass of carbonation sensation. 
Exploding with talk. But no one to listen. 

Call. Call the friends. Call the empty 
night Call the cops, I don't care. It's a good mood 
and it needs to be lived while it's strong. Tomorrow 
it will disappear. 

The car. Drive. To one house or another, it 
doesn't really matter. As long as the house has ears. 

No. Bodies are home, but nothing with 
which to listen. Nothing that can hear. 

Escape. Now. 

Don't talk. 

Bury the words in a deep plot, leave not 
tombstone behind. An unmarked grave of great im- 

Don't talk. 

The circus leaves town. Takes little Hope 
with it. A carnival of silence moves in. 


J. Ardith Cox 


Absence of evil is not always good. 
Absence of "cannot" is not always "could". 

Absence of darkness is not always light. 
Absence of error is not always right 

Absence of courage is not always fear. 
Absence of sorrow is not always cheer. 

Absence of sunshine is not always rain. 
Absence of pleasure is not always pain. 

Absence of false words is not always truth. 
Absence of old age is not always youth. 

Absence of fire is not always ice. 
Absence of sugar is not always spice. 

Absence of loving is always the same. 
Absence where no one is ever to blame. 



J. Ardith Cox 


A friendship gained, a friendship lost, 
One thing's for sure, a friendship costs. 

A troubled scene of days gone by, 
A haze of gray soon fills die sky. 

A world, dim, without a care, 
A future, dark, one of despair. 

A sword of pride, and one of hate, 
Soon scar my mind, and scar my fate. 

The shadows cast from either side, 
Let no hearts run, let no hearts hide. 

Then battles, vicious, full of rage, 
Soon turn a final, love-torn page. 

And 'neath the rubble, one heart lies, 
Then squirms in pain and finally dies. 

The smoke soon clears and then you see, 

A flag of white, one raised by me. 

Jerald Janes 

I can make myself float if I concentrate hard 

I am all alone in the front yard. It is au- 
tumn, and the leaves are falling. I refuse to give in. 

I stand out in the center of the yard and gain 
composure. I stabilize my breathing...I concentrate 
on the center of my mass. I begin. 

I take a breath, in as deeply as I can.. .1 ex- 
hale...! continue the process until it has developed a 
deep and slow rhythm.. J have established the cor- 
rect rhythm. 

I concentrate no longer on my breathing, 

but on the eye of my body's hurricane. My will 
pushes it skywards. 

I breathe deeper now, more deeply than I 
physically can. I get lighter.. .My mind floats in ig- 
norance of the laws of nature. 

I see the angle between my foot and shin 
begin to open up. There soon is no angle, for my 
feet are dangling, free of my body's weight 

My spirit's cogwheel latches onto a track, 

and I feel it pulling me upward. 


Kim Vollmer 

I do some of my best thinking 

to the silence you supply; 

when we are miles apart 

and connected only by the wires. 


Maria Mellinger 




The words 

That won't go away 

But never 


Throw away 


Kim Vollmer 


You are air. 

I am fire. 
We are good together. 
We were good together, 
I kept you warm and 
you fanned my flames to life. 

I tried to burn you, to put my mark upon you- 

And now you've left me 

for dead. 




Vases of flowers 

lie upon a fresh grave site. 

...Tears on lace pillows. 

A lonely street light 
illumines a darkened room. 
Photo albums lay open. 

A teacup shatters 

as morning alarm sounds. 

Another day begins. 




Judy Belfield 


Curling smoke from cigars 
settled yellow on the walls 
discolored the window 
distorted his only view of the outside. 

the dayafterday layer-upon-layer 
filmed over his screen; 
the actors and scenery 
dulled daily- 
all took on a jaundiced hue, 
the edges browned 
in a splattered pattern, 
closed in 

across the glass... 
one day for him 
the world ended. 


J. Ardith Cox 

i know you want to set love free; 

i see it in your eyes, 
i know inside you care forme; 

and cry when my heart cries. 

i feel it every time you're near, 

i know that you have tried. 

i feel a love behind your fear, 

the love you couldn't hide. 

i see the heart that someone broke; 

i feel the pain you snow, 
i saw you cry the day you spoke 

the three words, "Don't let go.' 

i ask you if, a chance, you'll take; 

your answer lies unknown, 
i ask you if a heart will break; 

you answer me, "Your own." 

i hear the words you say to me; 

those words are true, i know, 
i heard you whisper, "Set me free," 

but now i won't let go. 



Sherry Gunderman 


I saw the empty chair. 

And thought of the empty space 

You had given us 

When you exited our lives 

With the blissful glee that you had exhibited. 

We hated you 

For leaving us 

Because we loved you 

When you were one of us. 

And now you are a different person. 

And although we try 

To fill the chair, 

It is hopeless. 

And the chair remains 



Dawn Simmons 


Yes, I too saw the empty chair. 

I felt resentment that it was once occupied 

and I felt relief of its present vacancy. 

In your hands you held her feelings, emotions, and heart 

Like a lump of clay, you manipulated them to no end. 

It appeared as one big game to you— 

or did you realize the pain you cased 

and the level of which you controlled? 

Your ego kept you flying high 

when alcohol wouldn't 

And to take those feelings seriously? 

For you it was a joke and you couldn't 

And sometimes I see you sit in the empty chair 

when I truly believe you shouldn't 

Yes, I too saw the empty chair. 

Do you see your name written on it, 

because I don't 


Nels Nelson 



And time, the off-beat 

And you, the rich timbrel 

Ear became a body, 

And time, a kiss from cracked lips, 

And sleep, a lover's sex. 

The body reverted to an eye, 

And a realization of how lonely 



Dawn Simmons 


Where are you now? 

Did your soul die along with your 


The wings that bring forth 

showers of greatness 

have vanished. 

A vase falls upon my imagination 

and I am reminded of 

the slushy existence of it all. 

Let it all out 

Winds blow new change towards 

our sheltering egos. 

Rings of gratitude encircle us and 

we scream to be set free from 

the cage of morality. 


Nels Nelson 


That last cigarette, 

Sticking to my lips, 

The smoke hanging, pulling, 

Blacking my lungs, 

Making my eyes bleed, 

Leaving me ragged 

As I scream at it, 

"You fuck!" 

Murdering it, 

A mercy kill, 

Smearing its glowing guts 

On a harsh, foreign sidewalk, 

It was my best friend. 


Nels Nelson 


Today a celebration 

King for a day, the old cliche 

Drink and dance, laugh, friends by chance 

A bad wine that clings brown to my tongue 

We all singing different songs 

Neighbors, voyeurs, looking at us queer 

Some basketball in the cold 

Sweet, low-down, dirty blues 

Through the car stereo 

Beer and gin, and that bad wine 

Some good wine, too, and candles 

Cigarettes, wishes and handshakes 

Lots of teeth, we're still all so young. 





I called you on the phone today 

Your Dad answered and politely told me you were 


I hung up, disappointed 

Wasn't that the day we were supposed to see a 


But you were out 

Out leading a new life 

Apart from me 

I could feel you slipping away 

Like grains of sand flowing through my fingers 

The tighter I clenched my fist the faster it sifted out 

I tried to hold on to you so dearly 

But you managed to escape my grasp 

I opened my hand to see an emptiness 

The same emptiness I knew before you 

But then I looked more closely in my palm 

To find one grain of sand left behind 

But this wasn't just any grain of sand 

This one was filled with the dreams 

I shared with you 

It was filled with the tears 

And laughter we shared 

And then I realized 

That you weren't really gone 

You left behind the most precious thing 

You left behind your memories. 


Maria Mellinger 


Princess of sorrow 
Iced into my life 
Like the cold fringes 
At a windowsill. 
Knight of night 
True god of true god 
Rescue me 

With secret warmth. 


Maria Mellinger 


So many familiar faces- 

The color of the hair. 

The line of the cheekbone, 

A view from a few paces behind; 

But not a single feature 

Is yours. 


Kim Voilmer 

Four months, I was 
Drunk with your love. 
Intoxicated fully 
In a dizzy spin, 
This morning 

I puked. 


Nels Nelson 


On the crystal night, 

"Don't breathe, the air will shatter 

and slice our lives," 

Beside the ancient fire, 

There were stories, liquor, 

Modem rituals, 

And it was these that mude us, 

The backyard Indians. 


Clariece Henne 

The photograph is black and white, taken 
before colored film was available. The little girl in 
the photograph appears to be about five years old. 
She is standing under a tree and the play of sunshine 
and shadow make the picture come alive. The girl is 
wearing "Mary Janes" and white anklets on her feet 
She is wearing a light-colored cotton dress with a 
white collar. The picture was taken before the ad- 
vent of polyester, her hair is parted on the side and 
pulled over neatly in a barrette. Even though the 
photograph is black and white, it is obvious her hair 
is the color of the sunshine on that day. The cay 
smile on her face and the look of trust in her eyes 
give hint to the bond between girl and photographer. 
In her hand she is holding a long white envelope, 
offering a look to the photographer. Written across 
the right hand comer of the picture are the words, 
"Oh goodie! A letter from Daddy." 

On the same page in the photo album, in an- 
other picture, stand a man and woman. They are 
under the same tree as the little girl The same sun- 
light and shadows play across the background. The 
woman is wearing a print dress that falls softly from 
her shapely form. The style of the dress gives a 
clue to the year the picture was taken-sometime in 


the 1940s. She has a tense smile and a look of sad- 
ness in her eyes. The man holding her tightly to his 
side is incredibly handsome in his army uniform. 
There is now writing on the bottom of this photo- 
what can be said of the pain of parting in only a few 

There is no picture in the album of a little 
girl clinging to her father, the father unable to set her 
off his lap. A taxi in the street, in front of the 
house. A loving grandfather gently lifts the girl 
from her father's arms and the separation is made. 

There is no picture in the album of a little 
girl sitting on the floor in front of an old-fashioned 
radio. The room is dark save for a pinpoint of light 
on the radio dial. A man's voice comes from the 
radio ominously droning a list of names. The little 
girl is tense with fear that she will hear the name of 
her father. There are others in the room, but to the 
little girl at that moment there is nothing but the pin- 
point of light and the hypnotic list of names. 

There are no pictures of the shapely woman 
lying in bed with her pillow clutched to her face so 
as to muffle the sobs that are her only company, 
night after lonely night 

There are other pictures in the album-four 
pictures in a row of a soldier with a helmet and a 
backpack and in his hand is a very long rifle, on the 
end of the rifle is a bayonet. After a closer look, it 
becomes apparent that there is a different man in 
each one of the photos. They all share the same 
look of determined fear. Not many smiles on these 

There is one photo of the handsome father 
standing before a skinny tree. Tied to the skinny 
tree is a helmet hanging upside down. The man is 
bare to the waist and his face is covered with shav- 
ing cream. He is holding a razor in his hand, and it 
becomes obvious the helmet is filled with water to 
the man can shave. 

These photos tell us there were friendships 
made and men groomed themselves, even though 
they carried long rifles with bayonets stuck on the 

There are no pictures in this album of the 
family reunited. Those photos are saved for another 
album, an album where the pictures depict the father 
pushing the little girl (somehow not as little as be- 
fore) on a swing. The shadow of the photographer 
falls across the scene, faintly reminiscent of the 
shapely figure in the other pictures. 

Perhaps, by not mixing the photographs of 
these two separates times, this family silently dis- 
played their resolve to put the lonely, fearful war 
years behind them. Not to be forgotten because 
these years were a part of their lives but just set 
aside so a new life could be nourished for this tiny 



Kim Vollmer 


I can surround myself with actions 

so my insides won't stir. 

But alone, at bedtime, still awake 

with all the house tighter than quiet; 

I can hear my own thoughts 

in a mocking voice. 

A voice that claims not to know me 

or understand my intentions. 

Panic beats my heart. 

I am still, stifled, awake, 

I am wide awake 

and divided into two; 

the one who did it, 

and the one who pays the price. 


Maria Mellinger 


A still, small voice, 
The hermit's repose, 
The religion of 
And him. 



Open your eyes 

I am here 
My soul is barren 

Because I have given all 
All to you 

Trampled underfoot 

I speak those words 
That give me joy 

That bring you pain 
"I love you." 

3p % 3fe: '3ft. 3jp ifS 3(r 3ft' 

Kim Vollmer 


My belly is starved of you 
and yet I have no taste. 
Someday a woman will come 
to free the caged and clawless bird 
inside your eyes. 
Inside the out, 
you will become together 
that of which you dance, alone. 
It seems I am yet a girl. 


Dawn Simmons 


The sun shines strongly 

on this Thursday morning. 

During the ride there 

I force myself to think of different things. 

I mostly wonder 

what you will look like, 

because people who have seen these things before 

tell me they won't make you look like "you." 

I wonder what you will be wearing 

(sweats and a T?) 

and how your hair will be combed 

(your hair-combed?) 

My thoughts are eaten up by reality. 

It is a closed casket.. 

...My alarm goes off 
and I awake to the hazy sun 
peeking through the blinds. 
The dried tears on my face 
(I must have cried in my sleep) 
become washed away by new ones 
(Mom says I called out your name 
several times during the night). 

A car pulls into the drive. 
I tuck my black shirt 
into my black skirt- 
bought to wear on this day especially for you- 
and somehow fit an extra package of tissues 
into my purse. 
My ride is here 

and I can't miss this chance to say 




Kim Vollmer 


Upon your leaving, my amis ache 

for body between them/ 

They press the air 

with anger. 

And I am guilty 

for wanting, 

of needing you to brave the world, 

and never do I know 

that the strength of your hold 

will endure 

without a physical bond. 

So always I am holding. 

I pull you harder, closer, 

tighter to me; 

knowing well all the while 

that you are breaking away. 

Thinking, ironically, that 

pulling you to me 

will mend the break. 


Nels Nelson 


Four dead earwigs lie 

In a porcelain battlefield. 

Drown, rubbing alcohol warfare, 

Illegal in most kingdoms, 

Not mine, though. 

They were spies, I was threatened 

As I sat majestically upon my throne. 

They died like cowards, twisting the 

Dance of Demise. 

I laugh at them. 

I am a superpower. 


Walter Coffey 


When I was only a small and homicidal 
child, I can remember a kind and elderly woman 
who lived alone on my block. Neither I nor any of 
the other eight children on the block knew very 
much about her, but we were completely enthralled 
with her beautiful home, her kind smile, her incredi- 
ble generosity, and her peculiar private life. 

Several times during our young, pathetic little lives, 
we children had conspired to ambush Mrs. Holland 
and get to the bottom of her odd behavior. The nine 
of us had planned to surround her all at once and 
bombard her with the kinds of questions only chil- 
dren of our particular age group had the nerve and 
imagination to ask. 

But also, plan after plan quickly failed. We 
even attempted a more direct approach by hurling 
stones with notes attached to them through her 
upper stained-glass windows. For some reason, 
Mrs. Holland never answered them, and this 
aroused suspicions even more. 

Every day after school, we children would 
congregate at the neighborhood playground, ironi- 
cally directly across the street from Mrs. Holland's 
lovely home. And every day without fail, Mrs. 
Holland would sit on her front porch, calmly knit- 
ting in her rocking chair while keeping a watchful 
but gentle eye on us. It was as if she were assuring 
us that we wouldn't erupt into flstcuffs without her 

She was always there, and she would never 
fail to assume her usual posture-sitting back rock- 
ing forward and reverse on her wooden rocking 
chair, wearing those wire-rimmed glasses with the 
chain attached and securely wrapped around her 
neck. She wore a different dress each day, but they 
all had a pastel color of some sort in common. 

We were never sensitive enough to appreci- 
ate her hospitality, but she never seemed to care. 
Whenever thirst set in on the playground and we 
were too lazy to walk home to get a drink, Mrs. 
Holland would always surprise us with an ice-cold 
pitcher of lemonade, or any other kind of -ade suit- 
able for drinking. And of course, we would eagerly 
drink like suckling pigs and then leave without even 
muttering a single English syllable. But for some 
peculiar reason, she didn't care. 

We were all aware of the fact that Mrs. 
Holland was indeed married at one time, but one 
day he suddenly vanished and we never caught a 
glimpse of him again. His sudden departure did not 
seem to phase Mrs. Holland in the least; she was as 
kind and as decent to us innocent little children as 
she ever was. 

Although we were all very fond of Mrs. 
Holland, we were never too friendly within her 
presence—mainly because of her unknown (and, 
therefore) mysterious personal life. She refused to 
open up to us less-than-understand kids, and we re- 
sented her constant secretiveness. Until one day... 

As my best friend and I were wandering 
home from yet another trying day at elementary 
school, we happened to pass by Mrs. Holland's 



Mrs. Emma Holland's Nuclear Popsicle, 

home, and as usual, she was seated on her front 
porch calmly knitting as she blurted out a weak 
"hello" and we waved in her general direction. But 
suddenly, an undetectable urge overcame us to stop 
at her house, and we did just that. 

"What are you knitting?" my friend asked 
her as we approached her porch steps. 

"A shuttle rocket," she replied without look- 
ing up. 

"Wow!" I exclaimed. "Can we watch?" 

She nodded her head affirmatively and con- 
tinued her work while we made our way up the 
porch stairs. 

"Are you thirsty?" she asked while we 
stood over her. Without waiting for an answer, she 
dropped her work on the porch, got out of her chair 
and beckoned to us from die front door. As eager as 
little children can be, we followed her into her home 
for the first time in our lives. 

We quickly bolted through the door, fearful 
of being locked out if we hesitated to enter. Once 
inside, it took us a while to adjust our eyes to the 
darkness of the room. And by the time our eyes 
were usable again, Mrs. Holland led us into a bril- 
liantly lit room; the brightness seemed nearly solar 
in magnitude. We were politely seated at a small 
table in the corner of the room, and in front of us 
were two equally-poured glasses of lemonade. 

When our eyes were back to normal once 
more, we could see that we were in the kitchen, and 
it was extremely clean. The walls were painted a 
fluorescent orange and their reflection from the ceil- 
ing light was practically blinding. 

I remember the lemonade was exceptionally 
good that day; Mrs. Holland always made the mis- 
take of adding plenty of sugar to our servings. She 
looked after die best interests of the children, unlike 
any other stingy grown-up in our crummy neighbor- 
hood. And we liked that a great deal. 

She quickly refilled our glasses after finish- 
ing our first dose, and as we made hogs of our- 
selves she stood over us, watching and smiling 

As I investigated the kitchen, I noticed a 
large metal object standing in the center of her cabi- 
net, located across the room from where we were 
seated. The object was to the right of her sink and 
to die left of her enormous refrigerator. It resembled 
a large silver popsicle because protruding from the 
top was a long, thin wooden handle. Neither I nor 
my friend could possibly imagine what it was, so 
we stared at it for over five minutes trying to see 
what it could be. Finally, the tension in the room 

reached its peak and curiosity overcame us once 

"What is that metal thing?" my friend asked 
Mrs. Holland, pointing direcdy at it. Without even 
looking, Mrs. Holland knew exactly what he was 
talking about. 

"That," she began simply enough, "is a nu- 
clear celluloid combination device used solely for 
the purpose of engineering and maintaining my 
robotic mobility." 

"Oh," I retaliated intelligendy enough, "but 
can it make ice cream?" 

Bold as we were, my friend and I ap- 
proached the object, fondling it and looking at it 
with amazement and wonder. Mrs. Holland took a 
step towards us, but did not make any attempt to 
halt our investigation. 

"I wouldn't touch that if I were you," she 
spoke rather meekly. "You might start another war 
or something." 

While continuing to fondle the contraption, 
I felt three small buttons lined in a vertical row on 
the backside. "Hey, what are these?" I said de- 
mandingly as I considered pressing one. - 

"Don't push that one," she warned, "that's 

I touched the top button and we suddenly 
felt the room temperature rise at least fifteen de- 
grees. In another instant, the contraption split itself 
down the center and thick white smoke poured out 
from it. As we waved the stuff out of our faces, we 
heard a distant voice similar to Mrs. Holland's, mut- 
ter, "--self-destruct button." 

Less than fifteen seconds after, we raced 
out into the street Mrs. Holland's beautiful home 
was completely engulfed by a tremendous white 
smoke cloud. 

My friend and I never looked away 
throughout the entire ordeal as we stood across the 
street and watched the massive cloud devour the 
house. When the smoke finally cleared, there was 
absolutely no trace of the house, the porch, or god 
ol' Mrs. Holland to be found anywhere. 

To this day, ten years later, my best friend 
and I are yet to conceive of a valid explanation as to 
whatever became of the lovely home; that metal 
popsicle, or even Mrs. Holland. Can you? 



Dawn Simmons 


Having her as a Friend 

overruled the importance of having her as More. 

(Everyone knows that Friends outlast More). 

So after months of being Both 

(which is twice as better than any) 

he called off the More. 

He traded in Both for the Friend that would last longer. 

Now he has something new. 



Dawn Simmons 


Heartache-(n.) Emotional anguish; sorrow 
Sorrow-(n.) 1. Mental suffering because of 

loss or injury. 2. Something that causes 

Grief-(n.) 1. A cause of sorrow. 2. Deep sadness. 
Sadness-(n.) Unhappy, deplorable; result of 




She taught me how to think, and how to 

When I was a young girl, I would visit her 
farmhouse with the rolling acres of green, and she 
would keep me awake deep into the night with her 
fascinating stories. She had such a gift for story- 
telling. I was bolted to the chair, with my tired eyes 
popped open as I dove into the past with her. Some 
of my favorite stories sketched her life in the or- 
phanage as a young girl. Through her eyes, I envi- 
sioned her running to the powder room when the 
nuns clicked off the lights, smearing soap on her 
dark hair to creates stunning yet fashionable spit 

Other priceless stories were about my moth- 
er (that my mother didn't want me to find out 
about). Like the time she came home filled to her 
eyeballs with hard liquor and stumbled around until 
my Gramma dished out a couple of lumps on Ma's 
intoxicated head. 

Gramma also offered vital advice concem- 


ing the adventures of womanhood, such as how to 
shuffle two dates in one night and still make it to 
work at Brach's Chocolate the next day, and how to 
deal with flashers while riding the train in Chicago. 

"Goldie" wasn't like most grandmothers 
who sat in rockers with heavy sweaters draped over 
their shoulders while they knitted. Gramma was a 
swinger with enough energy for two people. 

She and her grandchildren spent many win- 
ters tumbling down the icy hill in front of her house 
on garbage can lids. She taught us how to play 
jacks. She roller skated with her arm in a cast (from 
falling down at the skating rink) and beat me in 
roller races every time at the age of 60. She intro- 
duced me to rock candy (which was more precious 
than any Snickers bars because it was so ancient) 
and the art of enjoying it She seated me next to her 
on the organ bench, and we sang old songs-it did- 
n't matter if I didn't know the tunes to such greats 
as "Over There"— her thunderous Phantom of the 
Opera style usually drowned my squeaky, off-key 
voice out anyways. We then played Uno all night 
long while we smacked on her Creation bakery 

Gramma's keen intelligence aided me in 
conquering countless spelling bees as a result of her 
constant quizzing. I could spell every word correct- 
ly, but she would disqualify it if I didn't pronounce 
the word before and after my spelling, as they did 
long ago when she was in school. But no matter 
how much I hated it, it disciplined me. 

She had a penchant for fancy things, and 
my sister and I would wander into her glorious bed- 
room with reverence reserved for royalty. We were 
awed by her sparkling jewelry, gorgeous furs and 
flashy clothes, especially her gold and silver shoes, 
which could have belonged to Cinderella. 

She was a queen in my eyes, and I was her 
"Princess Shondy." Someday, I dreamed, I would 
grow up and be just like her. 

I was thinking these cluttered thoughts as I 
paid my last respects. Unwillingly, I edged over to 
the casket. My feet didn't want to budge, and I was 
too afraid to look. Through my tears I saw her 
white, gnarled hands that clasped around her glitter- 
ing rosary. I touched her raised veins on her hands, 
surprised to find them cold, lifeless and unyielding. 
I expected a hug, a bright red lipstick kiss, and a 
booming laugh. Where was the smell of Big Red 
chewing gum and Charlie cologne? 

This wasn't her, it was a shell of the 
woman that was Gramma. I stumbled to my seat 
Voices swam past me in the ocean of blur. "I'm 
sorry" and "My sincere condolences" flew about as 
misguided boomerangs. Through the fog I beheld 


Gramma, continued 

Joseph Nahas 

Grampa, the lights reflecting off his smooth head. 
He, naturally, fell into his duty of receiving our rela- 
tives and friends, all of whom we had dined and cel- 
ebrated with a few months earlier at my grandpar- 
ents 50th wedding anniversary. 

I had wanted to grow up to be just like her. 
I wasn't ready to say goodbye. There was just so 
much more that I could learn from her. 

I stared out the window at our trees. My 
parents, sister, and I had planted pine trees and 
named them after ourselves, so that we could leave 
apart of ourselves in Indiana. As I gazed at my tree, 
which was blossoming as I was into a young 
woman, I realized that I shouldn't shed tears and 
feel these pangs of loneliness and emptiness. She 
had live 74 years, a full life. I had been lucky to 
know and love her for 18 years. Just because she 
was gone from this earth didn't mean that she was 
gone from my heart and my mind. 

I turned away from the window and rested 
my gaze on my younger sister. Jes, who usually 
doesn't show any hint of emotion, was silently 
weeping. Neither one of us had experienced death 
before. I went over to her and stroked her shoulder. 
I wanted to tell her, Jes, maybe it was enough just 
to know and love her. That she could always carry 
Gramma in her heart, where she would always be 
there for us. 

But I couldn't tell her those words because 
it was difficult to speak. I just walked away and we 
dealt with it in our own ways. 


Norma Dodge 

We quarreled 
I was right 
He left 

It's no fun to be 
Right and left. 

Qariece Henne 


Hidden raindrops magnify the colors 
The green of the grass is fluorescent 
The white of the goose is opalescent 
Giving a surrealistic quality to this day. 


One kind of man there is 
who dreams and does; 
Another sits by and laughs 
if he fails- 

The Voyager seeks perfection 
doomed to disappointment, 
but the Mundane Mocker 
thrives in mediocrity 
afraid to change the 
normality of his ways 
rolling in the squalid sector 
of indecision 
afraid of winning 
destined to lose 
The great man attempts 
and is glorious at his peak, 
and might in his fall 


Julie Futterer 


my magic elixir- 

I swoon with your passion! 

You make me feel and think and live. 

When under your spell, 

I become the romantic 

or the rebel 

or the intelligent one. 
Your potent remedy heals my broken heart. 
I have no fears. 

I can conquer the world if I so choose. 
With you, I am a free spirit! 


my poisonous potion- 

You have defeated me! 

You force me to endure pain and suffering. 

When you leave me, 

I am the average 

the ordinary 

the vulnerable one. 
Your deadly venom infects my tender heart. 
I fear. 

I perish under the world's mighty strength. 
With you, I am only a prisoner! 




Anna Danbury 

The metal grey doors seal together, stale air 

is the menu until the twentieth floor. 
An upbeat song pours out from the headphones, 

only you can hear the melody. 
The rhythm seems to ease tension, and your 

hips sway into a figure eight motion. 
At first a slight movement, but slowly turns 

into an erotic dance. 
You instinctively close your eyelids, and the 

dance gets more complex. 
You twirl, your shoulders sway, left-right 

left, all on a five foot stage. 
Indoor carpet on the floor, muffles your steps 

music's too loud to hear anyway. 
Your heart beats harder and synchronized 

to your sways and moves. 
It feels so good to lose the stiffness, 

your body starts to move with tribal abandon. 
You twirl once more as the song's beat 

gets faster and more intense. 
Ummmph. You open your eyes to see what 

you have run into. 
He is wearing tweed, polyester and the 

broadest smile in history. 
Your face rushes hot, the color of a ripe 

Washington cherry. 
When did he get on the elevator? Oh 

God why didn't I take the stairs! 


Jacque Klika 


Lighted street comer. 
Illumined snow flakes obscure 
lonely street people. 

Forgotten children... 

dirty, rain drenched, hungry... 

beg on street corners. 

Smiling moon children 
sell roses on street corners. 
Passers-by turn away 


Judy Belfield 

Like Jackson Pollack tracks 

across a cream-colored canvas 

my silent invitation 

seems haphazardly splattered-- 

a short stipple here 

and a sudden sharp turn, 

barbed- wire tangles of line 

holding together a shape 

not quite defined. 

There is no accident; 

the question was planned 

and examined 

long before asking, 

its unspoken words dissected 

into the tiniest pieces. 

I put it to you again 

knowing the answer 

will equal the sound 

of the request 

It doesn't matter, 

I know you love me. 


J. Ardith Cox 

When silence speaks much louder than 
The words you sometimes say, 

Your eyes keep saying, "1 love you," 
In your own special way. 

When laughter swells inside your soul 
But finds no open door, 

A smile appears inside your eyes 

And makes your face smile more. 

When sadness hides the way you feel, 
And teardrops fill your eyes, 

The love you have for me just grows, 
As selfish loving dies. 

When I don't love the way I should, 
By holding back my heart; 

Your eyes look into mine and say, 
"I'm giving all, not part" 





Realize a dream. 
Rationalize a failure. 
Criticize a winner. 
Sympathize with a loser. 
Metamorphosize the rules. 




I am bewildered by the importance 

of secret knowledge 

he reads in my eyes 

but will not speak. 

We face each other 

knowing a thing perfectly profound 

but forbidden expression. 

I know what bullfrogs feel 

in their throats; 

I know intensely mute sadness 

and maniacal soundless joy; 

I know the meaning of exquisite. 

He knows I know these things; 

We know them together 

in a transcendent thought 

which would destroy us 

in a swift sudden moment 

with the utterance of a word. 



Norma Dodge 

The plump, red apple hanging so temptingly 
from the bough was almost more than Stella could bear. 
She and her sisters had been warned away from the apple 
tree over and over. Dire threats of awful retribution had 
been made by their father, if one of them should dare to 
pick that apple. 

Gardening was her father's favorite pastime, and 
the apple tree was the pride of his life. It stood above 
the shrubs and flower beds like a queen reigning over her 

Stella and her sisters, Tracy and Edna, were happiest 
when they playing in their yard, but they were careful 
not to damage any of their father's growing things. 
They knew that he saved for a long time so that he could 
buy a new plant or shrub for his garden. Money was not 
plentiful in their household. 

The carefully nurtured apple tree had been a 
major purchase two years before, and it had finally re- 
warded its proud owner's loving care by bearing one 
apple. If the tree's branches had been drooping to the 
ground under the weight of a bumper crop of apples, fa- 
ther could not have been more proud. 

As carefully tended as a much-loved and in- 
dulged only child, the apple grew more plump and red 
with every day that passed. 

On a sunny Saturday morning, Stella's father 
announced that today would be the day to reap the har- 
vest of his endeavors. Such an occasion as this required 
the presence of the whole family. 

"Stella, Tracy, Edna! Where are you?" he 
called. • 

"Come, Mother, you can leave the cleaning till 
later! Stella, why are you lagging behind?" Father was 

Hastening everyone along, father led the little 
group outside, and together they approached the star of 
the ceremony. 

But what was this? Why did that rosy globe, 
which had shone so rosily only the day before, appear to 
be misshapen and discolored? Almost trembling, father 
lifted the apple gently from the branch and examined it, 
His rage knew no bounds when he discovered the large 
puckered hole gaping in its side. 

His eyes swept over his family, coming to rest 
on Stella, who tried vainly to hide behind her mother's 

"Stella," he roared, "do you know anything 
about this?" 

"Yes, Papa," she sobbed, Through frightened 
tears and sobs, the culprit confessed to her crime. While 
knowing that she dared not pick it, the temptation was 
to great, and, standing on a chair, she had taken a great 
bite out of the apple. 

Retribution in the form of a severe spanking 
was swiftly administered. 



Kris Bullmer 


I do not sleep alone at night 

though I try 

Your need for me comes 

searching in the dark 

To curl up against me tight 

So small and yet so strong 

is that need 

That even if I roll away, 

it finds me 

Perhaps I have some need of 

you, too 


Norma Dodge 

Stella hurried toward home, the loosely wrapped 
package of meat clasped tightly in her arms. Mother 
would be angry if she were not home soon. Father, who 
worked so long and hard in the coal mines every day, 
wanted his supper promptly on the table every night 
Tired and dirty when he arrived home, he wanted a bath 
and a hearty meal more than anything at the end of the 

Behind Stella, a tall, handsome young man 
strode swiftly along the darkening street As he passed 
her with barely a glance, a sudden clamor of young voic- 
es rent the air. 

"There's Mr. McCallem! Hi, Mr. McCallem!" 
And a half dozen or so little boys, of assorted ages and 
sizes, appeared as if from nowhere. 

"Give us some money, Mr. McCallem, give us 
a nickel!" they shouted as they swarmed around him with 
grubby hands outstretched. 

Stella was shocked at such a blatant display of 
bad manners, even while she secretly felt a little envy of 
children who were allowed to play in the street even as 
dusk approached. 

She slowed her steps to watch the fun, as the 
young man handed out small change and good-natured 
badinage indiscriminately. The young man looked at her 
and reached into his pocket for more change. 
Embarrassed at having thought one of those conscience- 
less young beggars, Stella whirled around to run home. 
To her horror, the package of meat came undone, and a 
string of anemic-looking sausages dangled from her 


The young man, amused at first, saw her strick- 
en look. Before the little boys could notice and jeer at 
her predicament, he herded them along with, "Get on 
home now, your folks will be looking for you." 

As they scattered, whooping and shouting as 
only small boys can, he helped Stella rewrap the 
sausages and watched her go on her way. 

Neither Stella nor the nameless young man 
dreamed that another meeting was in store for them in 
the future~a meeting that would lead to courtship and 


Jerald Janes 


Hank never ventured past his property's limit. 
The sidewalk was too much. The street was out of ques- 
tion. To consider going out of town was absurd. 

Hank was 34 years old. Hank had no job. 
Hank never had a job. Hank owned a home. Hank had a 
dead, distant relative. Hank had no other family. Hank 
had no acquaintances. Hank won the Lotto one year. 
Hank watched cable television a lot 

Hank sent out for everything. He used Tropical 
Breeze underarm. "So this is what a tropical breeze 
smells like," thought Hank. It probably did. Hank ate 
food too. He really liked banana popsiclses and barbecue 
flavored potato chips. "So that's what a banana tastes 
like. So that's what barbecued food tastes like," thought 
Hank. It probably did too. 

One day Hank sat down' in front of his really 
big television, turned on the Weather channel, made love 
to his love doll, and drank Pineapple punch. After cli- 
maxing, Hank finished his drink and lay spent on the 
carpet The well-groomed token female on the Weather 
channel spoke very furiously about the climate in 

"Go to Hawaii! It's warm there. The food is 
good. The tropical wind smells simply marvelous. 
Pineapples fall from the tree into your hands. You can 
meet your soulmate in Hawaii very easily." 

"Boy!" exclaimed Hank. "I'm going to 
Hawaii!" He turned to the Travel channel. He waited 
fourteen hours in front of the TV until they got around 



The Real, Genuine Imitation, continued 

to Hawaii. He called the toll-free number, got his tick 
ets, awaited the day, called a cab, and bravely left home 
for the promise of Hawaii and its splendors. 

The flight was wonderful. He ate a beef-like 
soy burger and talked to his neighbor about cable recep- 
tion. The plane landed, and Hank anxiously made his 
way to the door. There was a great reception for all the 
travelers by a group of compensated, genetically diluted, 
Hawaiians, in native dress. Hank felt very important. 

"These people are so happy to see me!" ex- 
claimed Hank to his neighbor. The neighbor smirked at 
Hank. This made Hank very confused. 

At the hotel room, Hank walked out onto the 
balcony and took in a deep breath just like people do on 
TV. "This doesn't smell at all like a tropical breeze,** 
thought the bewildered Hank. 

He ventured down to the beach and was struck 
on the head by an aberrant boomerang. Expecting it to 
be a promised pineapple, he looked skyward. He found 
no tree. He found no trees on the beach, just lots of 
people taking photographs of each other. 

Later that evening, he attended a large dinner 
given fro his group. He ate steak, barbecued pork, and 
banana pudding. After uncontrolled vomiting, he came 
to the realization that nothing on this island was real. A 
young native girl approached the hunched Hank. 

"Are you okay?" she asked him. 

"No!" cried Hank. "Everything here is fake. 
Nothing is real!" 

"I'm real," she said, and led Hank back to her 

"Have you ever made love to a woman?" she 
asked. After a moment's thought, Hank responded. 

"Sure I have!" The two kissed. The breath 
from her nose bothered Hank's concentration. He 
mouthed her chest and disliked the salty taste of her 
flesh. Within minutes, the two began to have inter- 

Hank was sickened with the smell of her body. 
He was set back by her aggressive movements, her 
moaning prompted him to lose all interest It was all 
too brutal, too animal, too confusing, too fake. He 
withdrew from the girl and bolted for the shower. 

"What did I do?" she asked him. 

"You're too much like an animal! I'm sorry, 
but I like clean living ," replied Hank through the shower 

She ran from the hotel room in tears. Hank 
toweled off, dressed, grabbed his luggage, and caught the 
next flight back to the mainland. 


Back at home, Hank vaulted onto the couch, 
turned on the Lifetime Network, and feasted on Ranch- 
flvored Doritos and cherry Coke. 

It felt good to be home. 


Rich Goberville 


You come to me 
Like a mosquito in the night 
Trying to suck my life 
Into your own veins 

Your claw-like fingers 
Clamp onto my shoulders 
So that everywhere I go 
You are carried along 

Your mind overflows 
With past and present problems 
Demoning them all off on me 
Forcing me to solve them 

You step behind me 

Fire breath on my back 

"Love me" you say 

As I am enveloped by your coldness 

But I will not 
Hold you up any longer 
You will not continue to feast 
On my weary body and soul 

You are about to fall 

Into you self-made grave 

Because I only have enough strength 





My mother gave me a treasure the other day. Diamonds 
you may wonder? No, much more valuable. She handed 
me a small 14k gold box, only three inches square. 
When opened, it holds a few pairs of earrings, and per- 
haps a necklace. All in the softness of deep red velvet, 
still like new. She cranked the small tab underneath, to 
start the music box's song. "Somewhere My Love" 
started to play in those high-pitched pings. Sounding 
just as dainty now as when I was seven. I can see my 
mother sitting on the edge of her bed, clearly in my 
mind She's holding that box as I sit at her feet listen- 
ing in awe. And then she would sing. Oh her voice was 
so deep, so motherly. She could have been a profession- 
al singer, but had me instead Her voice would vibrato 
better than Julie Andrews could dream of. And she 
would always get that distant sadness in her hazel eyes. 
I can never forget that look, or how beautiful she was as 
she sang. I understand so much more about her now 
than when I was seven. So this gold box means much 
much more to me than a diamond. This box holds my 
mother, her sweetness, caring and tears. And I will al- 
ways hear her voice whenever I open it, touching the 
velvet When I need a little comfort, or a small amount 
of her wisdom, I'll open that box and listen, wide-eyed 
and full of wonder. 


Rich Goberville 

"Come on Becky, hurry up." The mother's 
skinny fingers clutch her daughter's arm as she pulls her 
along. "I don't have all day. I have a lot of things to 

"Ow! Mommy, you're hurting my arm!" 

"Well, then, walk faster!" the mother shouts as 
the grocery store's automatic doors close behind them. 

"What do you think I should make for dinner 
tonight?" she asks her daughter. 

"How 'bout some sgetti?" 

"It's called spaghetti, and no, the sauce is too 
expensive. I only have thirty dollars to go grocery shop- 
ping this week. How about some macaroni? It's almost 
the same thing." 

"Oh, macaroni is good too, Mommy. Thanks." 

"Don't say 'thanks,' say 'thank you,'" her 


mother corrects. 

"Thank you. Mommy," her daughter repeats. 

The mother quickly walks down the aisles, 
pushing her cart with one hand and dragging her child 
with the other. With each step, her polyester pants 
make an annoying, scratchy sound. She stops to pick 
up the macaroni and drops it in her cart along with the 
other groceries. 

"Okay, let's go," she says, tugging on her 
daughter. She walks to the checkout counter and unloads 
her groceries. 

"Can I have this candy bar, please?" her daugh- 
ter politely asks. 

"No. I said I don't have much money, Becky." 

"Please?" she asks again. 

"I said no! No leave me alone!" 

"Miss," interrupts the cashier, "that'll be thirty 
dollars and forty-four cents." 

"Oh, I'm sorry," the mother says. "Can you 
take out the yogurt please? I only have thirty dollars 
with me." 

"No problem, Miss." The cashier figures out 
the new total. "That'll be twenty-nine dollars and eighty 
cents, then." 

The mother gives her the money and leaves in a 
hurry. Not even giving the cashier time to say her usual 
"Have a nice day." She pulls her child into the car and 
fastens the seat belt around her daughter. 

"Mommy, I just wanted one candy bar. Can't I 
even get a..." 

SMACK-Her mother's hand stops her voice in- 
stantly. The child looks at her mom with horror, unable 
to utter another word 

"Oh my gosh!" her mother says. "What have I 
done? I'm sorry, Becky. I'm really sorry. It's just that 
this divorce and everything. I can't take it I just can't 
take it" 

She bursts out in tears, running her now gentle 
fingers through her child's hair, then her daughter puts 
her tiny arm around her mom's shoulder, patting her 
comfortably on the back. 

"Mommy, I love you." 



Norma Dodge 

"Our Stella is growing up," smiled father as he 
watched his daughter carefully smoothing her dresss as 
she sat down to breakfast. 

"Yes," said mother, "Stella is getting more like 
her sister Tracy every day. They are my two young 
ladies, but I don't think that Edna will ever grow up." 

"I don't want to be a grown-up," Edna cried as 
she hurriedly slid into her chair. I want to run, and 
climb trees, and play ball forever!" 

"And fight," Stella added with a very grown-up 
air of disapproval. 

"Mind your own business," muttered Edna. 

"Now, girls, don't quarrel. You had better 
hurry. You don't want to be late on the first day of 

Edna ran down the street to catch up with her 
friends, while Tracy and Stella followed more sedately. 

"Oh dear, I think Edna will never be a lady," 
sighed Tracy. Stella sighed too, and nodded her head in 
agreement Then they forgot Edna as they hurried to 

Stella found a seat between her two best friends, 
and until the bell rang, they chattered unceasingly. 
Josie's and Maggie's conversation seemed to deal mostly 
with boys, an interest they had developed over the sum- 

The first day's classes were uneventful. 
Seventh grade work was not so different from last year's, 
after all, but everyone was anxious to be freed from their 
first day of long months of bondage. Shortly before the 
dismissal bell was to ring, disaster struck. 

"P-s-st, Stella, pass this note to Maggie quick!" 
whispered Josie shoving a piece of folded paper into 
Stella's hand. 

Stella took the note and turned to hand it to 
Maggie who sat on her other side. 

As Maggie reached over, a hand swooped down 
and neatly plucked the note from Stella's fingers. 

"Stella, stand up. I want everyone to see you 
while I read what you wrote in this note." The teacher's 
tone was grim. Opening up the paper, she read aloud, 
'"Do you like Frank Chetsfield?' Stella, I am shocked at 
you, writing notes about boys." 

Again and again she read the words, 'Do you 
like Frank Chetsfield,' while Stella stood, head bowed in 
embarrassment, with tears of shame coursing down her 

Mercifully, the dismissal bell released her from 

her torture, and the teacher did not detain her as she ran 
from the room. (Perhaps even that flint-hearted spinster 
realized she had gone too far with her ridicule). 

Tracy and Edna were waiting for Stella, and she 
ran up to them, sobbing out the whole story. 

Edna's rage knew no bounds. 

"Do you mean she let you stand there and take 
the blame? She didn't own up to writing the note her- 

Suddenly they spied Josie running ahead of 
them. Edna let out a whoop and ran after her, jumping 
on her from behind. Both girls fell to the ground, with 
Edna on top, pummeling Josie as hard as she could all 
the while shrieking, "You mean thing. You let Stella 
take the blame! You mean old coward you!" 

Josie managed to throw off her attacker and ran 
for dear life, sobbing threats of "I'm going to tell 

"Edna, let her go, don't chase her," pleaded 
Stella as Edna jumped to her feet, ready to resume the 

"Didn't I make her run, Stella?" beamed Edna. 
"I guess I paid her back, didn't I?" 

"Oh, Edna, you did pay her back. If Mama 
scolds you for fighting, I'll tell her all about it" 

As they walked toward home, arm in arm, 
Stella whispered, "I'll never tease you again about being 
a tomboy. I guess we need a boy in this family. 



Give him a chance 
To show who he is. 
Give the opportunity 
To be all he can be. 
Spare him some extra 
Time to explain for 
Words don't come so easy. 
Find a little patience 
To sit back and watch. 
Show him you care and 
A lot of love because 
This special child is 
Truly a gift from God. 



Kim Vollmer 


I caught you last night, 

in my big hands quivering 

of too tight a hold. 

I blew kisses to you 

and froze as you shivered 

and tickled me. 

I hid you away so only I would know you. 

I protected us from others. 

I protected you from me, 

behind the glass you sang out. 

I covered your noises to protect us. 

And I knew I'd gobble you up. 

No. Not this one. 

I'll save you 

in my grape-jelly jar 



Kim Vollmer 

I, watching our love fade 

dim and dark, 

slowly lose ground and shape. 
I, pressing hard against your chest, 

hear the beating, 

the melting of my soul 
Hold me. 

Crying me. 


Maria Mellinger 


The whispers 
In the next room 
Are popping my in ears 
Like tired knuckles 
Over a typewriter, 
While my silence 
Is a song to them, 
And they ruin it 
With a lover's lyric. 

Nels Nelson 


In my room at night. 

It's 2:37 a.m., I think. 

The clock could be a liar. 

I am a liar. 

I am a junkie. 

Life is my junk. 

I am junk. 

Die, junkie. 

Heroin can't be junk, 

Too expensive. 

Smiles and slaps could be junk, though; 

People give them away. 

They must have too many. 

I will take them. 

Come to me, candyman and woman. 


Nels Nelson 


She comes with black hair, red hair, mood hair, 

Into his bed, when she wants. 

She comes smelling of dirty music, thick whiskey, 

Thin cigarettes which extend forever.She comes at two 

or three in the morning, 

Usually twice a week. 

She comes to wake the child from dreams 

Of homemade, after-school cookies and birthday parties, 

To wake him from dreams of love-packed lunches 

And meetings at the school bus stop 

She turns on the lamp by his bed, 

And crams her painted, smeared face into his. 

She wants to play mommy, to read 

A bedtime story. 

"No, mom, I'm fine." 

"Shut up, kid! I'm gonna read to you!" 

He won't look at her. 

She slurs through the story, 

Leaves him to his dreams again. 

Can he dream again? 




'The Jim and Tammy Story," now I thought 
this place had a little more class than that.